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Faugheen: had been 5/4 favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Faugheen: had been 5/4 favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Faugheen's Cheltenham in doubt as he's pulled from Irish Champion Hurdle

Another blow for trainer Willie Mullins.
Jan 28th 2017, 2:08 PM 3,316 5

FAUGHEEN, THE SHORT-PRICED favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, will not run at Leopardstown this weekend, throwing his Festival chances into doubt.

Willie Mullins’ star missed last year’s Cheltenham and was due to return to the track in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

But Mullins confirmed this afternoon that Faugheen has picked up an injury and has been pulled out of Sunday’s race.

“We weren’t happy with him this morning,” he told the Racing Post.

“And while we’re not sure what the problem is, he could have tweaked a muscle behind.”

The news is another blow to Mullins who earlier this week saw another of his stars, the wondermare and reigning champion hurdler Annie Power, ruled out by injury.

Hearing the news of Faugheen’s injury live on ITV, jockey and regular partner Ruby Walsh was visibly disappointed.

“I didn’t know… that’s made my day,” he told Oli Bell. “I don’t want to know.”

– This article was updated at 14.39 with a re-written excerpt.

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Another Cheltenham champion ruled out as Annie Power to miss Champion Hurdle

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Niall Kelly


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